I apologize for not writing for some time. Life has been busy! But busy in an oddly normal way. Aside from the slight difference in my appearance, most everything seems to have returned to the way things were before my surgery. I went back to work last Tuesday, I’ve been going to class, and I’ve been out and about with my friends and family. The only thing is that I’m feeling fatigued and I want to know WHY! (More mention of that towards the end of the post.)
On Wednesday the 4th my sister Wendy visited us from Boston with my niece and nephew (ages 13 and 15, respectively). It was awesome seeing them. I have six nieces and nephews (and I love ’em all!) but have always regarded Matthew and Nicole as my younger siblings. I lived in Boston when they were born and I grew up with them.
Thursday the 5th was my 22nd birthday. I had work and class, so instead of rushing out to Redondo Beach after class at 8 pm to try to get dinner with my family, I decided to go out in nearby downtown Los Angeles with my friends. It was really great: not only did I enjoy everyone’s company, I also felt so normal! Danielle let me borrow a really cute crop top and I paired it with a black high-waisted skirt. No one could tell that I had recently had surgery.
During that awful weekend before my drains were removed I was concerned that my drain site was infected. Maria from Dr. Festekjian’s office said she might put me on antibiotics, but I cautioned her that my birthday was later that week and that I would prefer not to be on medication. Luckily I didn’t have an infection, so I was OK to drink on my birthday! My friends bought me some pretty delicious drinks (birthday cake shots and mojitos, anyone?) All in all it was a very successful night.
On Friday evening my parents, sister, niece, nephew, Bryce and I all went to the Melting Pot in Torrance to have a birthday/pre-graduation celebration. My birthday was on April 5th; Bryce’s 23rd birthday was on April 10th; and my nephew Matthew’s 16th birthday is on April 14th. We’ve got an abundance of Aries! Dinner was delicious but very filling.
The next day we met up with the Berkeley Cuzzins who had driven down the night before to spend time with fam. The cousins are: Marc, Naura and their two kids, Julia (16) and Charles (14). All of the kids (Matthew, Nicole, Julia and Charles) descended on USC on Saturday morning so I could show them around the campus. They’re starting to think about college, so it’s important that I brainwash them and make them want to go to my alma mater.
They really liked USC, especially the tour of the Frat Row…why am I not surprised? After USC we visited Venice Beach, a place I affectionately like to call the Berkeley of the Sea. Venice Beach is amazing. I love to see the reactions that people have to it. The boys LOVED it–they thought it was hilarious. The girls, on the other hand, were slightly weirded out by it.
After Venice Beach I was exhausted. Really, really, REALLY tired. I’m not sure if it was because it was hot outside (about 85 degrees) and we were walking around all day, or because I’m not as recovered from surgery as I thought I was, or both. The next day (Easter) I was still pretty tired too. I went to Bryce’s house for a late lunch and by 7 pm I had passed out upstairs.
So that leads me to the point of this post: when will everything be back to normal? Not to toot my own horn, but I look great after surgery. I feel chipper and if you ran into me on the street, you might never know what had happened. But there are times when I just feel exhausted! And I don’t know why. Are the activities I’m doing really that tiring, or is my body still in recovery mode?
I am itching to get back to my spin classes. I almost went to a class yesterday afternoon at YAS in downtown LA. At the last minute, I decided to email Jeani at Dr. Festekjian’s office to ask her opinion. She talked to Dr. Festekjian and told me to hold off on spinning until I see Dr. Festekjian again and can get his blessing in person.
I was disappointed…I really need the cardio workout! I feel like such a slug. But at the same time, I don’t want to rush it. What if my fatigue really does have to do with my surgery? Spinning might make me feel great for a few hours, but I would feel awful if something happened to jeopardize my tissue expanders and I knew it was because I had pushed myself too hard, too early.
Tomorrow morning at 10 am I have an appointment with Dr. Festekjian to get my first tissue expander fill. Hopefully he’ll give me the OK to go back to spinning. I think I’ll also post some “before and after” pics from my fill (rated G, I promise!)
I’m looking forward to getting the show on the road, but I hope the fill doesn’t hurt. Does anyone have any advice for making it as comfortable as possible?
No, it doesn’t hurt. But don’t panic when you see him pulling out a big-ass thing that looks like a giant hypdermic needle…he will attach that to a tube that runs to a tiny little needle, which he “pops” into your expander port. He even put some topical numbing stuff on the port ahead of time. I barely felt a thing.
AND…thank you for writing about how tiring everything seems to be. I was feeling like a total wimp because I’m still passing out from exhaustion after what I’d normally consider fairly minimal activity. Once I passed the “few-week” mark, it’s hard to remember that I’ve had major surgery. I figure my body knows what it needs, and will shut me down if I’m overdoing it.
You look fabulous and you’ve been out and about a lot for only 4 weeks later! Take a little time out to rest, your body is still healing inside. I know you want to get back to your normal pace but have patience it’ll be worth the wait. You’ll not only look as stunning as every, you’ll feel great soon too.
The light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine through brightly. Keep your focus and positive attitude, you rule your world Rachel Horn.
P.S. Looking forward to Splash for Pink!!!!! We need to come up with a great team name so I can do t-shirts.
Wow, did I find this blog at the right time! I’m BRCA2+, had a full hysterectomy 7 weeks ago and am scheduled for a bi-lateral mastectomy in 7 weeks. I have so many thoughts racing through my head. Most of them are sad, worrying about every little thing – am I making the right decision to have reconstruction? The drains, the drains! Oh how the thought of them freaks me out. How will my 3 kids, ages 8, 6 and 3 handle a mommy with no boobs for a while and then different ones after that? (Oh how these 3 love to snuggle on my chest, particularly my boys!). I’d love to read more about people’s personal experiences – how did you feel after surgery? How long until you felt “ok?” The drains, the drains! How bad we’re they? On and on…the more I can read about personal experiences, the better prepared I might become. Bless you all!
Hi Abby, thanks for your comment. Please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’d love to connect you with some more women who have gone through this.
A spin class! I can barely survive walking my dogs a couple of times a day. I am 3 weeks post op and still am very sore but it’s the fatigue that is so debilitating. I go for my first expansion today and am a little nervous but reading your experiences helps a lot. Thanks everyone. Stephanie. Australia.
Hey, walking dogs is hard work! Especially if they see squirrels. =P Hang in there, Stephanie.